Q&A with John Torode
- Credit: Archant
John Torode spoke to Cotswold Life during the August Bank Holiday Celebrations at the Old Market, Hereford.
1. How important do you think it is to use local ingredients when cooking? Do you support the buy local ethos?
Yes and no. For the simple reason that I think the world has changed. It’s great to buy local as much as you possibly can, but in this day and age it’s difficult when you want to branch out and cook exciting things - for instance, with curry you might want to add some coconut milk and you’re unlikely to get that from a producer in the U.K. So I feel that you should get what you can from your area, but I don’t prescribe to buying only local.
2. If you could, what dish would you choose to be your last meal on Earth?
I’m asked this quite a lot. For me it’s not just a dish, it’s a whole ceremony. It needs to involve sunshine; a beach - preferably Thailand; some crispy fish; a bit of rice; a cold beer and a swim. Beautiful, nice and easy.
3. What did you end up doing for people at Old Market on August 22?
I cooked up the best piece of beef you’ve seen in a very long time and some mushroom doughnuts - because doughnuts are not just for jam. There was also a lot of squid, some banter and a good dose of Aussieness!
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4. Did you explore Herefordshire whilst in the county? If so, what particular stops did you make?
I’ve actually been down this area quite a bit. I like Ross on Wye, Hay on Wye, Abergavenny – there’s lots of great food restaurants and beer. In particular there’s a great veg man in Ross on Wye called Charlie Hicks who I would definitely recommend visiting.
5. What are three of your favourite ingredients to use in cooking?
The first one is a cow, cooked any way possible - you can’t beat a piece of beef, it’s a delicious thing. The second would be squid, I love it - people didn’t use to eat it but now it’s very popular. I also love Asian cooking so ginger is an ingredient I use frequently.
6. What is a common mistake you see people make when cooking and how do you think they could overcome this?
People over-complicate things, they do too much. The confidence of a great chef is someone who can make something really simple that tastes incredible, like chilli and spaghetti.
For more about events at the Old Market in Hereford, visit: www.oldmarkethereford.co.uk